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Hobart Parish Newsletter – St Joseph’s Church
Small steps towards opening St Joseph’s
Keeping in mind the ‘Thinking Ahead’ points I gave in the last 2 newsletters, I am pleased to announce that we are about to take one small step forward. There will be no grand opening of the church just a small gathering of no more than 10 parishioners for an 8 am mass on Monday 25th May. As the weeks go by the number of masses offered and the number of parishioners able to join in the celebration will increase.
Please continue to pray and meditate and enjoy the ‘being the church at home’ experience that has become part of our faith journey over the last 7 or so weeks. Zoom meetings, phone calls, letters and cards exchanged have all become part of our community life as we reach out and support each other. Parish reflection leaflets, newsletters, web site offerings, live-streaming Sunday Eucharist and Holy Week liturgies are and will continue to be a source of spiritual nourishment over the months ahead. Don’t let them slip bye as we are only at the start of our journey back home when we can meet each other face to face once more.
Last Wednesday, the Archbishop had a video link up with many of the priests to explain his proposal to open the churches. He is running in parallel with the guidelines set in place by the Tasmanian Government’s three phase plan following the guidelines concerning social distancing and hygiene measures. Phase 1 till 15th June allows for 10 parishioners in the church, Phase 2 till 13th July allows for 20 parishioners in the church and phase 3 from 13th July allows for 100 parishioners in the church while at all times allowing for social distancing. These figures apply to any gathering in the Church.
The Archbishops proposal asks that churches be open on Monday 18th of May, however he recognises that each parish priest must make prudential decisions in providing for the needs of the people. After consultation with our religious community Fr Gerald, Fr Justin and Br Edward and members of our Parish Pastoral Council I have decided to delay its implementation by one week in order to ensure that all parishioners are made aware of the important news via our parish newsletter which is created and posted each Tuesday.
Public Celebration of the Eucharist at St Joseph’s
Phase 1, until 15th June
- Monday till Saturday inclusive 8am (there is no 12.10 mass until further notice) with only 10 parishioners in attendance.
You will be met at the door and shown to a seat. When the 10 places are filled the church will be closed.
- Sunday 7.30 am (there are no other Sunday masses being celebrated) with only 10 parishioners in attendance
You will be met at the door and shown to a seat. When the 10 places are filled the door will be closed.
Entry into the church for mass is on a first there first in basis. There is no booking system available. There is no easy way to distribute 10 seats amongst a large and widespread parish community as St Joseph’s is. Please be tolerant of the spiritual needs of others and space your mass attendance out over a week or two week period. Take the time to develop your home prayer by taking the gospel quote from Matthew 6:5-6 ‘Go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is unseen, and your Father who is unseen will reward you.’
Parishioners wishing the sacrament of reconciliation are asked to ring the monastery on 03 6234 4866 and make an appointment with Fr Gerald, Fr Justin or Fr Peter. There will be no daily celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation in the church until further notice.
Changes to the above programme can be expected every few weeks so please keep in touch via the website or newsletter. Any sudden changes will be notified on the notice board at the entrance of the Church.
Irrespective of age anyone who has flu like symptoms or feels unwell should stay at home and not come to church.
Please share this message with our community and ask them to spread the word to people whom they know.
15th May 2020
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